Will water investment follow energy? Treatment outfit gets $25 million

Clear Water Compliance Services, which cleans up water from industrial sites, gets investment from hedge fund to expand.

Clear Water Compliance Services has gotten a $25 million investment from hedge fund company Plainfield Asset Management, the Seattle Post-Intelligencerreports.

The Seattle-area company has a system for purifying water used on construction and industrial sites that uses crab shells among other materials. Water is typically pumped into a pool, treated and then sent into rivers and streams.

The investment, which will give Plainfield Asset Management a majority stake in the company, will be used for expansion, according to the report.

Even though there has been a huge influx of investment in clean technologies, water-related companies have received only a fraction compared with their solar power and biofuel counterparts.

Part of the problem is that municipalities that provide drinking water are heavily regulated and are generally more concerned with upgrading the basic distribution infrastructure, according to people in the field.

On a global basis, providing fresh water--either for drinking, or to meet environmental regulations as Clear Water Compliance Services does--represents a huge potential market, say water industry executives.

"Over the next decade, companies positioned with good technology for sustainable water supply are going to get a lot of business," said Jeff Green, CEO of NanoH2O, which makes nanomaterial-based membranes for reverse-osmosis seawater filtration.

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